Speaking with Evan Drellich of CSNNE.com on Saturday, Athletics third baseman Trevor Plouffe confirmed that the Red Sox had interest in signing him as a free agent during the offseason. In the end, Plouffe chose to ink a deal with Oakland because it presented a clearer path to playing time at the hot corner than Boston did at the time. “I wanted to play third base and [the A’s] came and right away and expressed their interest in that, and to me it was kind of a no-brainer,” said Plouffe, who’s on a one-year, $5.25MM contract. “I was going to come here and get a chance to start at third. Kind of after last year, not being able to play a ton of games, prove that I can stay healthy again — that was kind of the real selling point for me.” As Drellich notes, it turns out Plouffe would have had an opportunity to play had he signed with the Red Sox, whose third base options (including Pablo Sandoval) have dealt with injuries this season. Plouffe could still end up with the Red Sox around the trade deadline, Drellich adds, and the 30-year-old realizes it’s possible he’ll head elsewhere if the A’s aren’t in contention. “Of course. You can’t be naive about that fact,” acknowledged Plouffe, a .248/.318/.421 hitter in 148 plate appearances this season.
More from the American League:
- White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada and manager Rick Renteria each played key roles in the team’s signing of highly touted outfield prospect Luis Robert, according to Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. Like Robert, both Abreu and Moncada hail from Cuba, while Renteria is the only Spanish-speaking manager in the majors. The White Sox put together a video presentation for Robert which featured narration in Spanish from Renteria and appearances from Abreu and Moncada, both of whom encouraged Robert to join the franchise. The White Sox’s attitude toward Cuban-born players has impressed Abreu, who told Hayes through an interpreter, “The way this team has treated the Cuban players and the Latino players in general, that’s something that is important and I really, really appreciate it.”
- Red Sox left-hander David Price didn’t last long in his rehab start Friday, so he’ll make at least one more before rejoining the big club, manager John Farrell announced Saturday (via Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald). While Price “feels great physically,” per Farrell, he’s not stretched out to the team’s liking. Price, working his way back from a strained elbow, went two innings and threw 65 pitches in his initial start for Triple-A Pawtucket. That fell well short of the 85- to 90-pitch goal Boston had set for Price, who will take the hill again for Pawtucket on Wednesday.
- Chris Illitch is officially the controlling owner of the Tigers, having gotten approval from the league’s other 29 owners earlier this week, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (Twitter link). Illitch is taking over for his father, Mike Illitch, who passed away in February after a nearly 25-year run at the helm of the Tigers.